US threatens more Turkey sanctions if pastor not freed

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, at a cabinet meeting, threatens more sanctions against Turkey if it does not release a jailed American pastorU.S.A. - 17 August 2018: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned Thursday the United States would levy more sanctions on the troubled Turkish economy if Ankara does not soon release a jailed American pastor.Deepening a spat that has rattled financial markets and threated to split a long-standing defense and political alliance, Mnuchin on Thursday suggested the next spiral of tit-for-tat sanctions was coming soon. "We have put sanctions on several of their cabinet members," Mnuchin told President Donald Trump in a cabinet meeting attended by the press, including AFP. "We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly. "Trump prefaced Mnuchin's remarks by saying that Turkey had not been a very good friend to America.Referring to imprisoned pastor Andrew Brunson, Trump said "they have a great Christian pastor there, he's a very innocent man. A Trump tweet on Friday announcing a doubling of aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey triggered the rout in the currency markets.The lira's drop in value is certain to further fuel inflation, which is already near 16 percent.Albayrak said there would be no concessions on fiscal discipline, adding: "We are targeting lowering inflation into the single digits as soon as possible.

Source:Egypt Today

August 16, 2018 18:33 UTC


Scientists detail full genome of wheat for first time

Scientists say that mapping a a comprehensive wheat genome was an "immense challenge" that took over a decade, because bread wheat contains five times more genes than a human17 August 2018: In a breakthrough that experts say will help feed the growing global population in the coming decades, scientists Thursday revealed they have cracked the full genome of wheat for the first time.Wheat feeds more than a third of the global human population, providing more protein than meat in the human diet and making about one-fifth of calories consumed by people.But it is harder to grow in hot, dry weather, and these challenging conditions are expected to intensify as the planet warms due to climate change.Experts say the world needs more disease-resistant varieties and breeds that can grow with less water in a warmer environment. "This will greatly speed up our efforts on identification of agriculturally important wheat genes, including those that would help to combat major fungal diseases," said Kostya Kanyuka a functional genomics scientist at Rothamsted Research. "This will also be hugely and immediately beneficial for wheat breeders, accelerating development of new elite varieties. "Mapping a comprehensive wheat genome was an "immense challenge" that took 13 years, because bread wheat contains five times more genes than a human, said the report in the journal Science.The type of wheat detailed by 200 scientists from 20 countries is Chinese Spring (Triticum aestivum) a variety of bread wheat which is the world's most widely cultivated crop, said the study led by the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC). "Wheat productivity needs to increase by 1.6 percent a year to meet the demands of a projected world population of 9.6 billion by 2050," said the report.The wheat genome contains 107,891 genes, and its complex genome contains 16 billion base pairs, which are the building blocks of DNA.Humans, by contrast, have about 20,000 genes and three billion base pairs.

Source:Egypt Today

August 16, 2018 18:11 UTC


Judge orders migrants returned to U.S. in midst of deportation flight

Judge orders migrants returned to U.S. in midst of deportation flightUSA - 10 August 2018: A federal judge on Thursday ordered an immigrant mother and daughter brought back to the United States after learning during a court hearing that the government had put them on a deportation flight to El Salvador.The pair were among 12 plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenging changes in asylum policies ordered by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.Washington D.C. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan was hearing a request to stay the plaintiffs' deportations, when the ACLU learned that two of them were already on a flight to Central America, the civil rights group said.Upon hearing the news, Sullivan ordered their flight returned and suggested that Sessions could be held in contempt of court, according to the ACLU.An official from the Department of Homeland Security said in an emailed statement that the agency is "complying with the court’s order, and upon arrival in El Salvador, the plaintiffs did not disembark and are currently en route back to the United States.”During the hearing, the judge ordered a temporary stay on deporting the nine women and three children who filed the lawsuit, according to a court filing.The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in the District of Columbia by the ACLU. It challenges a recent tightening on standards for seeking U.S. asylum, which makes it far more difficult for those fleeing domestic or gang violence to win the right to remain in the United States.Sessions has led efforts by the Trump Administration to crack down on illegal immigration, including the adoption of a zero tolerance policy that briefly included separating immigrant parents from their children while they were in U.S. detention.The family separation policy led to widespread criticism and was abandoned in June.

Source:Egypt Today

August 09, 2018 22:18 UTC


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